Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Underdog Series Part 3

I'm finally feeling better after a couple of rotten days of being sick. So now onto the important topic of today, The Underdog Series Part 3 starring Ray Milland!!!

Ray Milland was born on January 3rd 1905(though some sources say 1907) in Neath, Wales to parents Elizabeth and Alfred. Ray was born will the name Reginald Alfred John Truscott-Jones. I haven't been able to find any information on whether or not, he had any siblings but if I do find anything out, I'll let you all know.

Before becoming an established and popular actor, Ray served in the Household Cavalry but years later when WWII began, he tried to serve in the U.S. Army Air Force, but was denied because of an injury to his left hand. After being denied from the Air Force, he decided to work as a civilian fight instructor for the army.

In 1932, Ray married Malvina Webber, with whom he would have a son with named Daniel and an adopted daughter named Victoria. Unlike the past two participants(a.k.a Robert C. and Jeffrey L.), Ray remained married to Malvina until his death in 1986.

Throughout the early and mid 1930's, Ray's roles were quite small but in 1937, Ray was cast alongside Jean Arthur and Edward Arnold. As the 1930's, we're coming to a close, Ray's roles in the movies seemed to be getting bigger and bigger.

Ray hit it really big when he sttared opposite Jane Wyman in "The Lost Weekend" and was to be directed by Billy Wilder(yes the man who directed such films as "Sabrina" and "Sunset Boulevard") . The film garnered him an oscar nomination for best actor and he ended up winning the award. Ray was the first welsh actor to win an Oscar and is also known for making the shortest speech by graciously bowing and leaving the stage.

In 1942, while making "Reap the Wild Wind", Ray's character had curly hair but Ray had straight hair, which resulted in them curling his hair. It was later believed, that because of the studio wanting to curl his hair, he began balding earlier and his roles from leading man to supporting player were the result of the hair catatastrophe.

Throughout his career in Hollywood, Ray had been injured quite a bit like when he was making "Hotel Imperial", it called for the character to lead a calavary charge through a village. Ray had been an accomplished horsemen and wanted to do the stunt himself but things went awry. The saddle on his horse became undone and he ended up flying off the horse. Ray was in the hospital for weeks with multiple fractures and lacerations.

Ray reportedly had a tattoo on his arm of a skull, haha which I can't seem to picture but I would love to see it.

Though married to Malvina, Ray did cheat on her. I'm not sure how many times he cheated but he was romantically involved with Grace Kelly, his co-star in "Dial M for Murder". He even was going to divorce to be with Grace but Ray went back to Malvina, which left Grace heartbroken.

Ray sttared along many great actors and actresses such as Jean Arthur, Joan Fontaine, Teresa Wright, Charles Laughton, Barbara Stanwyck, and Paulette Goddard.

In the 1950's and 1970's, Ray continued working in such films as "Dial M for Murder", "Something to Live for", and "The Love Story".

On March 10th 1986, Ray passed away from lung cancer, surviving him were his wife and his two children.

Best Films-

"The Lost Weekend"
"Easy Living"
"The Big Clock"
"The Uninvited"
"The Major and the Minor"

I agree that he is underrated and I wish people would watch more of his movies. Personally I feel he should have been in TCM's Leading Men.

Next week's Underdog participant will be Glenda Farrell. I know that not a lot of people know who she is and I'm not too familiar with her but I like watching her movies.

Ohh yeah and one last thing, last night I watched possibly(in my opinion) the worst movie. I watched "Susan Slept Here". It wasn't exactly a bad movie but it was VERY creepy. If you've seen it, tell me what you think of it. I was just disgusted by it because I'm only two years older than the character that Debbie Reynolds played in this movie and it still gives me chills. haha Which movie have you recently seen that you thought was absolutely horrible, now I'm not talking about the actors/actresses personal life but their acting.

So stay tune for next weeks blog about Glenda Farrell! ;)


Millie said...

Oh, what a loverly post about Ray! I love him SO much!

In fact, on the TCM message boards my screen-name is ILoveRayMilland which led to me being nicknamed Millie by Sarah and Graciebird.

Anyways, nice post!

Another bit of trivia I have about him being injured a lot. He almost died during the shooting of "I Wanted Wings". He was up in an airplane to test it for filming, and he decided he wanted to parachute out (he was an amazing parachutist). He wasn't able to because the plane was low on gas. When he was on the ground again he was telling the costume man all about it. When the costume man told him that it was just a prop and there actually wasn't any parachute in it. He would have died!

Kate Gabrielle said...

Great post! A lot of things I never knew about him! I saw a movie years ago with him and Miriam Hopkins (Wise Girl) and it's not available on DVD and hasn't been on TCM in a long long time. If you ever see it, though, watch it-- if you like Ray Milland you'll love this movie :)

I can't wait to read your post on Glenda Farrell, she's one of my all-time favorite pre-code actresses. Did you get the idea to do a post on her from Susan Slept Here? lol. I'm 22 now, and I know that back when I was 17 I really liked the movie because I was going through an "older men" crush phase, and really liked that Debbie Reynolds was so young. NOW however, I think it really is disturbing. Now I think: 17 and, what, 50? Yuck! (He says he's 35, I think, but it's obviously not true) The one redeeming quality in the film is Glenda Farrell. Isn't she a riot?

Kate Gabrielle said...

I seriously just ransacked my entire house looking for my lone VHS copy of Wise Girl, and I just found it! I think it took me about 2 hours, lol! I wish I'd found it earlier because now it's just too late to watch it. I just had to come back and post that, though, since your post on Ray Milland spurred "the great VHS hunt of 2009"!

Nicole said...

Thanks Millie + Kate. I actually thought your name was Millie. haha

When I saw Glenda in Susan Slept Here, I knew I wanted do write about her. She was the best part in that freaky movie. I know I saw her in other movies but I can't seem to place it but I do really like her.

Oh and Dick Powell doesn't look like he could play 35 yr old. He looked his age which isn't a bad thing but in that movie it just made it even more creepy.

I'm glad you found Wise Girl and I hope it comes on TCM soon, I'd love to check it out

Anonymous said...

Aww, ILloveRayMilland ;-D. Nice pun, huh? No I really do love him, but remember, Miss Millie, I gave you that nickname first! Lol. Anyway, cool pictures Nicole. And Millie, oh my goodness, that is a seriously scary story about Ray and the parachute.

Anonymous said...

absolutely in love with your blog! im really into the silent movie stars, but i also adore all black adn white's!! their all classics!